Sylvia Browne - Real or Fake?

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby Robert McDaniel » 11/10/04 02:09 PM

Anyone care to comment?

Thanks,
Robert McDaniel
Robert McDaniel
 
Posts: 139
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: USA

Postby rich aviles » 11/10/04 02:41 PM

I hope this topic doesn't get too out of hand.

I'll put in a quiet vote for: Fake.

Rich
Cat Herder at TRCKY.com.
rich aviles
 
Posts: 31
Joined: 03/17/08 09:03 PM
Location: Atlanta, GA

Postby Terry_Holley » 11/10/04 03:06 PM

Both!

Terry
Terry_Holley
 
Posts: 112
Joined: 04/16/08 09:20 PM
Location: Medina, OH

Postby Brad Henderson » 11/10/04 03:16 PM

Are we talking about her breasts or nails?
Brad Henderson
 
Posts: 2268
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: austin, tx

Postby Guest » 11/10/04 05:35 PM

Scripture:
"How can anyone do these miracles, unless G-D be with them?"
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/10/04 06:13 PM

I know enough to keep my mouth shut about this one! :p
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/10/04 06:51 PM

Well, let's see.
Are there real ghosts?
No.
Are there people who can really read minds and talk to the dead?
No.
End of story.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 19978
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Bill Hallahan » 11/10/04 07:01 PM

Fake!

To me, all the purported psychics appear similar to someone who predicts the name of a person who's wearing a nametag. Do I believe theyre psychic? No way.
Bill Hallahan
 
Posts: 33
Joined: 03/29/08 11:04 PM
Location: New Hampshire

Postby Chris Aguilar » 11/10/04 08:12 PM

The only thing "real" I find about her is the annoyance I feel every time she opens that fat, shrill mouth of hers.
Chris Aguilar
 
Posts: 1404
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Sacramento

Postby Pepka » 11/10/04 08:29 PM

Another emphatic vote for NO.
Pepka
 
Posts: 387
Joined: 05/04/08 09:40 AM

Postby Jeff Haas » 11/10/04 11:54 PM

She's a real cold reader!
Jeff Haas
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Mateo, CA

Postby David Alexander » 11/11/04 12:43 AM

I've never understood how a bright guy like Montel Williams insists on having her do his show repeatedly. I've always found her to be completely without charm, which, one would think, is a necessary ingredient for someone in her line of work.

David Suskind, who was no fool, had one of the worst "psychics" I've ever seen on his show years ago. She was wrong nearly all the time in what she said about people, but Suskind simply couldn't stop talking about how wonderful she was.
David Alexander
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Aurora IL

Postby Ryan Matney » 11/11/04 01:41 AM

Does nobody else find her 'readings' more dangerous than others? Brown has the habit of naming specific information to people that are despretely seeking it. And I don't mean comforting grieving loved ones.

She often will tell someone "John Brown killed your wife, look for a man named John Brown." or "You have cancer and if the doctors say you are ok I'm sorry, you're not."

Calling specific people murderers and naming specific locations of dead bodies as well as diagnosing exact illness is all very impressive on television but I wonder how this really impacts these people's lives. Has anyone else noticed this about her?
Ryan Matney
 
Posts: 729
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hurley, Va

Postby Terry_Holley » 11/11/04 07:53 AM

I received info on Sylvia's new material just yesterday. Check it out. Interesting reading.

http://www.consciousone.com/C1Promo/syl ... erGod.html

Terry
Terry_Holley
 
Posts: 112
Joined: 04/16/08 09:20 PM
Location: Medina, OH

Postby David Alexander » 11/11/04 01:06 PM

Sylvia Browne is the Judge Judy of psychics, only without Judy's charm and wit. ;)
David Alexander
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Aurora IL

Postby Robert McDaniel » 11/11/04 06:39 PM

Thank you for all the comments. I wasn't sure anyone would even respond.

Sylvia Browne is so matter-of-fact that she's different and perhaps more convincing than most so-called "psychics". I guess what I was asking is....

Are there any REAL psychics? And, is there really such a thing as ghosts? RK says "no" and I tend to believe him. But, as magicians, we are the ultimate skeptics. I still wonder. We are so busy duplicating paranormal activities that I wonder if we're missing out on the real thing if, in fact, it exists.

Robert McDaniel
Robert McDaniel
 
Posts: 139
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: USA

Postby Robert McDaniel » 11/11/04 07:34 PM

Also... if she is a fake (which, apparently she is) how can she live with herself? It's criminal.

So, are there any real psychics out there? And ghosts?

My grandparents lived in Moberly Mo. They died about 20 years ago. We visited the house they lived in recently and the woman and her sons, who live there now, swear that the house is haunted.

The sons are afraid to sleep upstairs and the woman says she saw a man crawling on his hands and knees across the floor upstairs, and that's the last time they went up there.

I mean... is this all [censored]? Just wondering.

Thanks,
Robert
Robert McDaniel
 
Posts: 139
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: USA

Postby JonP » 11/11/04 08:36 PM

>> Also... if she is a fake (which, apparently she is) how can she live with herself? It's criminal.

Oh she's very much a fake - and I think a dangerous one. Check out James Randi's site (http://www.randi.org/sylvia/index.shtml) for a few hard facts.

If you still have _any_ doubts about her capabilities after you have read just a little of the material there .... well I have a parcel of Florida real-estate that might interest you.
JonP
 
Posts: 21
Joined: 04/12/08 12:11 PM

Postby Chris Bruce » 11/11/04 08:50 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ryan Matney:
[QB] Does nobody else find her 'readings' more dangerous than others? Brown has the habit of naming specific information to people that are despretely seeking it. And I don't mean comforting grieving loved ones.

I think your right on with this. Her readings do seem to be a little more edgy or 'negative' than other TV psychics. I saw a young woman ask her if she was going to find true love/a husband and she said 'No, you'll be alone a long, long time'. Not what you would normally expect.

Someone above asked why Montel has her on all the time - thats easy - she gets ratings and appeals to his demographic. If he were to question her authenticity he would most likely lose veiwers.

Oh, and my vote - fake, all the way fake. However, she is great with the medical stuff (from a reading perspective.)

Chris
Chris Bruce
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 01/24/08 01:00 PM
Location: Burlington, Ontario

Postby Guest » 11/11/04 10:17 PM

"The sons are afraid to sleep upstairs and the woman says she saw a man crawling on his hands and knees across the floor upstairs, and that's the last time they went up there. "

She might have a homeless guy living up there rent free!

I wonder if his name might be Occam
Guest
 

Postby Steve Hook » 11/12/04 12:05 AM

Originally posted by JonP:
well I have a parcel of Florida real-estate that might interest you.
As a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in the State of Florida, I can assist both of you in the transaction. We can even do some card stuff after the closing.

Steve H
Steve Hook
 
Posts: 758
Joined: 10/21/08 11:50 AM
Location: North Carolina, USA

Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/12/04 10:32 AM

I predict that this thread will eventually have to be locked by the heavy-handed, anti-free speech, politically correct (my favorite of all the things that I have been called), rat-bastard, cowardly moderator.

Dustin (HH, AFS, PC, RB, CM)

(PS: Steve, I do have some property in Florida I need to sell. Email me if interested.)
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5650
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/12/04 10:43 AM

She seems real enough as a creature, though why people want to believe the things she says is another matter entirely.
Mundus vult decipi
Jonathan Townsend
 
Posts: 6524
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Westchester, NY

Postby Countelmsley » 11/13/04 10:32 AM

Ok I' ve got a theory about psychics and I dont know; just a thought... I believe all psychics believe they are for real. I dont think they' re out to cheat anybody on purpose... Actually some probably do, as with anything else. I but believe, in general, they say what they feel about certain things when they' re beeing asked questions. BUT those feelings are just that; feelings. They dont know for sure, they dont have any special powers. Theyre deluding themselves. They are cold readers without knowing it. They think their answers are coming from a higher power when in fact, they' re just following their instincts. They' re good psychologists and that's it. When they happen to get lucky on something, they think theyre great psychics. Just a thought.
http://www.geocities.com/larrybarnowsky/kotr1.htm
www.geocities.com/larrybarnowsky
Countelmsley
 
Posts: 56
Joined: 03/11/08 07:14 PM
Location: NY

Postby Adrian Kuiper » 11/13/04 03:04 PM

I kinda disagree with SebastianTalbot: I believe Psychics know exactly what they're doing and why. It's a job....a profession....an act(?). The one thing that they are superb at is reading people. Whether they know it's called "cold-reading" or not it doesn't matter. They respond to the person asking a question exactly as the questioner wants.

Have you ever heard someone ask a psychic "Did my spouse suffer when he died?" and hear the psychic respond "Yes....he/she was in extreme agony and was in terrible pain."

Ain't ever gonna happen. Psychics tell people what people want to hear and as long as there are folks who believe....they'll be psychics.

Obviously I'm not a big fan of them.

Adrian
Adrian Kuiper
 
Posts: 299
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Port Richey,FL

Postby Steve V » 11/13/04 07:32 PM

Ol' Sylvia's 'church' is a few minutes away so I've met folks who are into her. Unfortunately my wife is a true believer in her nonsense. She sells lots of materials at her church (spiritus novus or something like that), I mean A LOT. If someone bites hard they can spend several thousand bucks just on getting the info. She also does phone things for several hundred a shot as does her son.

If there are any real psychics they've yet to show themselves.

And folks best stop callin' Dustin names.
Steve V
Steve V
Steve V
 
Posts: 642
Joined: 01/20/08 01:00 PM
Location: Silver Springs, NV

Postby Terry_Holley » 11/13/04 09:46 PM

If you're not familiar with Randi's web site, check out the following on his challenge to Sylvia.

http://www.randi.org/sylvia/index.shtml

Terry
Terry_Holley
 
Posts: 112
Joined: 04/16/08 09:20 PM
Location: Medina, OH

Postby Ryan Matney » 11/13/04 10:22 PM

I agree to a point with sebastiantalbot: I think a good number of these people actually believe they have a gift. Whether or not they do is up for you to decide.
Ryan Matney
 
Posts: 729
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hurley, Va

Postby Steve V » 11/14/04 01:37 AM

Oh yeah some believe it, no doubt. Some mentalist start to believe they have powers.
Steve V
Steve V
Steve V
 
Posts: 642
Joined: 01/20/08 01:00 PM
Location: Silver Springs, NV

Postby Guest » 11/15/04 09:01 AM

I've seen Sylvia Brown on Montel, various times. And although I found her persona annoying, she was otherwise astounding
Then I heard two tapes of her at the learning annex. On two separate occasions
She got nothing right!
There seems to be something of the combination ofher and Montell that brings out the psychic :p
from
Ford
Guest
 

Postby AMCabral » 11/15/04 11:10 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Well, let's see.
Are there real ghosts?
No.
Are there people who can really read minds and talk to the dead?
No.
End of story.
Whoops. Not quite.

Are there real ghosts?
Not that we've seen.

Are there people who can really read minds and talk to the dead?
Not that we've been able to prove.

The problem is that "faith" is not "science". What people choose to believe has nothing to do with petty "logic" or "evidence" or "data". And what they want and need to believe has even less. And even still, if you descend your science as far as you can go, down to the quantum level, you hit a point where the guy in the lab coat shrugs his shoulders and say, "Hey, just take my word for it, okay?"

What's the old joke about the logician and whomever on a train who see a flock of sheep? Whomever says, "Those sheep have recently been shorn."
The logician says, "...On the side we can see, anyway."

Now imagine arguing that about a photograph of sheep.

And yet, we know she's faking. We know they all do. We can duplicate every manuever and hit the information with more accuracy and even, G-d willing, make it entertainment. But the same thing we all love about all this audience pumping and fishing and cold reading is exactly the same thing that bimbos like this (and they're all bimbos, including Van Praagh and Edwards) hide behind: there's no evidence. None. Nothing to point to to reveal. No curtain to swipe away, no real knots to tie, no soot to sprinkle on the tambourine. It's our word against theirs every single time. And THAT'S the end of story. Sucks, doesn't it?

I think that every single one of these <insert juicy derogatory epithet here> deserves a hard kick in the neck. And I think if there IS a G-d of this nature, he should quit pissing about with these twits and bless me with a perfect center deal. Priorities, you know...

-Tony Cabral
Providence RI
User avatar
AMCabral
 
Posts: 168
Joined: 03/13/08 08:59 AM

Postby Guest » 11/15/04 01:54 PM

Wait, wait, soo what you're saying is, we're not allowed to say God??
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/15/04 02:27 PM

Sorry, Tony, like I said: End of Story.

As for Glenn's comment: we do not censor the word "god." It was the poster's choice to type "g-d."
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 19978
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby AMCabral » 11/15/04 09:25 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Sorry, Tony, like I said: End of Story.

As for Glenn's comment: we do not censor the word "god." It was the poster's choice to type "g-d."
Wow, gee, thanks, Richard. I never realized faith is so unnecessary and superfluous. You should call together a summit of all the religious leaders in the world and explain to them, in detail, your "End of story" theory of how the world works. I'm sure they'd thank you for saving them from wasting their lives.

And let me know if anyone comes around this board talking nonsense about what "real magic" looks like. You know, like using the pass or something. Please direct them to my e-mail address and I'll set them straight for you. "No such thing; end of story."

In fact, everybody reading this, stop wasting your time with this "magic and illusion" stuff. No such thing. So there's nothing for you to try to emulate, imitate, or approximate. End of story.

How many people who get pissed off at fake psychics are upset because they've actually thought about the issues and concepts at stake, and how many are just throwing tantrums because these schmucks are generating more attention and better reactions with "magic" than they are?

Richard, you've accomplished a lot in this field. I know you've got some scholarly thought in you; I've read your heavily detailed arguements on the Immediate Bottom Placement and the Invisible Palm. Give me something else to work with other than "End of story." Please.

Respectfully yours,

-Tony Cabral
Providence RI
User avatar
AMCabral
 
Posts: 168
Joined: 03/13/08 08:59 AM

Postby John LeBlanc » 11/15/04 09:44 PM

Originally posted by AntonioMCabral:

Richard, you've accomplished a lot in this field. I know you've got some scholarly thought in you; I've read your heavily detailed arguements on the Immediate Bottom Placement and the Invisible Palm. Give me something else to work with other than "End of story." Please.
Tony, out of curiosity, what part of "end of story" rubbed you the wrong way?

Are you suggesting that, generally, a belief in an Almighty God is on the same level as a belief in ghosts or mind reading? That's not been my experience.

It's been my experience that one of the reasons mystery entertainment "works" is because the plausability of what's demonstrated is at least accepted as a possibility, however remote it may be. On the other hand, I've found that belief in God is, for the most part, an either/or -- those who sit on the fence are far outnumbered by those on either side of it.

I don't believe in ghosts and I don't believe one person can read another person's mind. What I believe is that we, as mystery entertainers, can satiate our audience's desire to demonstrate that it remains at least a possibility. At least, that's from the entertainment end of things. There are people I call frauds who overtly claim to do these things.

Just one man's opinion.

John LeBlanc
http://www.escamoteurettes.com
John LeBlanc
 
Posts: 866
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Houston, TX

Postby Q. Kumber » 11/16/04 01:07 AM

Three points:

I don't know if I believe in ghosts, but I did see one once.

God is a generic word used by every civilization/tribe to describe the being(s) they believed to be more powerful than them, or in some way held control over them, or guided their destiny.

Now is a very good time to buy real estate in Florida.
Q. Kumber
 
Posts: 868
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Manchester, England

Postby Guest » 11/16/04 02:47 AM

I actually feel bad for real psychics. They must suffer some sort of weird, cosmic statistical deficiency. Think about it, they have to use psychic powers to bump themselves up to the level of predictive ability that the rest of us have based on statistics alone.

Without their psychic powers, these poor individuals would only be correctly calling coin flips 1/4 of the time. Their "think a card" tricks would only be miracles 1 in every 104 times.

These people don't deserve our ire, they deserve our sympathy. Oh, and money...also our money.
Guest
 

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/16/04 05:53 AM

Is "spiritualism" a religion, and if so is it afforded the same protections and respect as other religions?

I don't know what to say about the possible therapeutic use of those beliefs. Closure is much desired, though also feared.

Or where to draw a line between entertainment/amusement and the more serious matters of faith. I do not condone dressing as a catholic priest to present "glorpy" nor the use of conjuring to sway matters of faith. Perhaps Robert-Houdin was not helping the locals when he demonstrated that western magic was stronger than local trickery and thus liberated them from local leaders so they could find a place in western civilization.

This question is exactly what Reginald Scot addressed with his book, Discoverie of Witchcraft, long ago. It seems that some of book outside the eighty pages of conjuring how-to is relevant today as well. He suggested that we stay on the entertainment side, and leave matters of faith and belief to other professions. It may well be that the position of shaman does not exist in our society, as we have become too diverse a culture to fully merge our beliefs and knowledge about ourselves, our neighbors and the rest of existence.

About these other professions...what happens when we cross over into their turf? Surely we have some significant communications skills to offer. However, just going into their ritual space with our special effects might not be advisable. What would it mean to sacrifice a chicken to find a selected card? Or to find a second selected card in the entrails of the sacrificed animal? How close is that trick where a burn appears on the performer's skin to spell out the name of a card, to the scene in The Exorcist where writing seems to appear from inside the possessed child? How close is the trick Chris Angel did on his special where he cut himself open to find a coin, to the imagery in the Cronenberg film Videodrome?

Questions. Lots of questions.
Mundus vult decipi
Jonathan Townsend
 
Posts: 6524
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Westchester, NY

Postby AMCabral » 11/16/04 06:50 AM

Let me clarify:

So-called psychic mediums are people who take theatrical tools and prey upon people with genuine emotional and spiritual needs on the false pretenses of being able to speak to the dead and read minds. This, I believe.

I also understand that people who have these genuine emotional and spiritual needs are not wrong for having them. I'm a non-religious liturgical musician for a Catholic chapel. I've seen more than I care to of bereaved people who have been traumatized by the death of a loved one and who need closure and consolation that speaks to their beliefs about the universe, e.g. a genuine belief in souls, spirits, heaven, etc. I would never presume to walk up to someone and attempt to explain to them that, since science has never been able to prove or define what a soul is, there's no such thing, and there's no such thing as heaven, so don't worry about it, and the thing over there in the casket that looks like your six-year-old son is just a lifeless meat-puppet now, but, hey, sorry for your loss. There's skepticism and then there's thoughtlessness.

Nor would I presume to put on a sock puppet and say, "Mommy, mommy!! It's me and I love you and I always did and always will!! I kiss the boo-boo and make it better!!" And then sell them the sock puppet. Because that's exactly what these scumbag psychics (read: piss-poor mentalists) accomplish. No more, no less.

To say "No such thing. End of story," is a lovely commentary on the latter and a perfect example of the former. To claim to be "on the side of the bereaved" when we poop on the mediums and then be so disrespectful as to say to the bereaved "...and the reason why I know she's a fake is that there's no such thing as heaven!!" is too cloddish for words. And we wonder why people keep flocking to spiritualists and don't listen to us after hundreds of years.

With all due respect, "No such thing. End of story" is arrogant and disrespectful of the very people we purport to "help" when we "unmask" one of these twits. Spiritualism isn't about fraudulent mediums, and it isn't about the magicians who know how it's done. It's about sad people.

-Tony Cabral
Providence RI
User avatar
AMCabral
 
Posts: 168
Joined: 03/13/08 08:59 AM

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/16/04 07:42 AM

Originally posted by AntonioMCabral:
..."No such thing. End of story" ...
The story goes on. For each of us. We live in our own stories. How we connect our stories with each other and the world at large is close to the core of being human.

The theme of stories told by the hearth comes back to us often in more thoughtful literature. It seems a useful metaphor for internal and social discourse. From The Canterbury Tales to the last issue of Alan Moore's Promethea the image stays with us. It seems to mean something to many of us.

Some step away when certain topics come up in discussion. Sometimes this is because we find ourselves too far inside the story to be comfortable discussing it. Sometimes we feel too far outside the story to find comfort. These things happen when we become aware that we live our own stories, and sometimes need to find our way in them. The topics and questions remain vital to both the stories and the listeners.

When does someone's story begin?

When does someone's story end?

And for the brave... who's telling your story?
Mundus vult decipi
Jonathan Townsend
 
Posts: 6524
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Westchester, NY

Next

Return to Mentalism & Mental Magic